“Blow The Man Down shouldn’t be missed and is one of those diamonds in the rough that exceeds expectations. “
There’s a special little gem hidden inside Amazon’s digital library of movies with their new film Blow The Man Down from filmmakers Danielle Krudy and Bridget Savage Cole. With its darkly dry comedy, fantastic dialogue, and secretly crime-ridden small town in Maine, this feels like a sibling story set in the Coen Bros. universe of Fargo that hits all of the right genre tropes of drama, comedy, and thrills. Blow The Man Down is a unique modern-day noir tale full of great performances and one hell of a murderous yarn.
Blow The Man Down opens up with an older scraggly fisherman singing the titular sea shanty with his co-workers, which also pops up throughout the film, setting the noir mood as if Rod Sterling is introducing you to a new episode of The Twilight Zone. The film focuses on two sisters, Priscilla and Mary Beth Connolly on the day of their mother’s funeral. Their mom’s older best friends (June Squibb, Annette O’Toole, and Marceline Hugot) try and comfort them in their time of need. After the funeral, Mary Beth heads to the local pub for a drink and ends up with a strange guy who tries to attack and rape her, but she finds a harpoon and kills him.
This sets the story in motion where Mary Beth and Priscilla would rather dispose of the body on their own rather than go to the police. On top of all this, the three old ladies who seem like anyone’s sweet grandmother have a mysterious aurora about them as they don’t take a liking to Enid (Margo Martindale), friend to the sister’s deceased mother and owner of the local bad and breakfast that doubles as a brothel. When one of the women of the night ends up dead in the river, secrets start to be revealed, friends become enemies and the most unlikely characters brandish some horrific realities.
Filmmakers Krudy and Cole perfectly conjure up the best ingredients for a mix of cold-blooded comedy and actual terror in this small town where nobody is as they seem. The actions of trying to hide a brutal murder and criminal conspiracy in a small town are completely comical such as trying to hide a body inside a small Yeti cooler, but the directors never play it slapstick nor do their characters. It feels real and scary at times, which is why this Fargo-Esque story works so well.
The cinematography is top-notch that showcases the frigid and cold areas of the Maine fishing town along with its quaint and down-home feel, which contrasts nicely with this terrifying plot. Each performance is nuanced and pitch-perfect with the right amount of humor, but the spotlight is on Margot’s lecherous Enid character and her employee played by Gayle Rankin (Glow, The Climb). Blow The Man Down shouldn’t be missed and is one of those diamonds in the rough that exceeds expectations.